Some Days, Parenting Bites!

It’s not easy being the baby of the family.
Some days, it’s just down right hard.
Just ask my third child.
She is carted all over town.  Many days, I have to wake her from nap time to pick up or take my older kids to their activities. 
She is exposed to toys and choking hazards daily.  Every person in our family has done the finger swipe to clear tiny objects from slipping into her esophagus.
She is not enrolled in a toddler music class or a tot program. Because I’m mean.  And let’s just face it, I don’t plan to, until she asks.
If her pacifier hits the floor, it’s not even cleansed with spit.  Odds are, it’s not even wiped off.
She can stand up to have her diaper changed, if I’m in a hurry.  Which I am.  In a hurry.
Her favorite food is fast and favorite drink is generally the one NOT in a sippy cup.
And her favorite phrase?  “Let’s go.”
Because we do.  All the time.
She has come up with a new way of getting some attention in this crazy family.  It stops us all in our tracks.
And oh, she makes her mark.

[insert picture here]  This is where I show you a picture of the BITE mark on my upper thigh area.  But if you think you’re going to see my upper thigh, you’re kidding. 

It’s for your protection.  Seriously.
I thought she was going to hug my leg.
It turns out she was still hacked off that I pried her sibling’s Capri Sun from her sticky hands.
And now, when our sweet baby leans in for a kiss or puts her arms up to be held, do you know what I do?
So, how do you stop an 18 month old from biting?   
Because being bit, bites.

I googled for an answer.  I came across these tips from here.

    1) Firmly say “No bite!” and remove the biting child offender from the situation. 

    2) Administer an appropriate consequence such as removal of the toy or a time-out for a biting child. 

    3) Lavish positive attention on the bitten person. 

    4) Use distraction between young kids and watch their interaction closely to avoid placing youngsters–especially one to be known to be a biting child–in a conflict situation. 

    5) Resist the temptation to bite a biting child back as a way to “show them” their wrongs. Use a positive approach instead. You don’t want your toddler telling his teacher that he bites because that’s what his parents do!

Yeah, #5 got me, so, we stopped biting her and that seems to help.  
For more great tips, visit Works For Me Wednesday.
P.S.  Between writing this and pushing the publish button, she bit me again.  On the shoulder.  Another fake hug.  So, I’m open to suggestions.

When Time Stood Still

As I sat in the Emergency Room with my 6 year old son, I pulled his feverish body close to mine and rubbed my hands in his hair.

Not exactly the way I planned to spend Father’s Day.
My son had been feeling badly most of the weekend.  In our home, the squeaky wheel gets the most oil and, well, he’s not squeaky. E-ver.  He’s so unassuming and easy-going that by the time I realized he was really sick, his temperature was 103.8 and his throat was so swollen he could hardly swallow.  He needed antibiotics and, of course, the only thing open was the ER.
And so, I left my hubby home with a napping toddler and an 8 year old to answer his ringing bell.
As we waited, I held my son’s small hand in mine.  I traced his jaw line with my finger and noticed a couple of new freckles.  I watched his dark lashes grace his cheek and the rhythm of his breathing.  
Can I just say that I enjoyed every single minute of it? Not that he was sick or that we were sitting and waiting, but just the quiet of the moment, to take him in.  
And notice.  
How did he get to be so big?  My chubby toddler with curls was long gone.  
Three elderly people walked in and sat across from us. The husband escorted his frail wife in front of us to address the gash on her forehead.
They left a sweet 73 year old lady in the waiting room, named Emma.
She watched me stroke my son’s head.  We started chatting.  She was visiting her sister and brother-in-law from Ohio.  Her sister was very ill with Alzheimer’s and she wanted to see her while she still remembered.  She shared that it was hard watching her sister lose her independence and struggle with daily activities. Just a few minutes before she had fallen and cut her head on the dishwasher. 
Emma told me she lost her own husband just six months ago, after 43 years of marriage.  “I don’t like living alone.  It’s hard.”  She shared that she had eleven children- ten sons and one daughter. Her daughter died when she was 36 years old with a brain tumor.  She told me about her new job and how she was trying to live a full life.  She told me her deceased husband’s favorite joke and smiled kindly at my son.
There was nothing to pity about Emma.  She had a sparkle in her eye and a beautiful smile.  
We were still talking when my son’s name was called.  She stopped me and said softly, “That was my husband’s name, too.”
And something in that moment, made me want time to stand still.  And I think it did.  Just for a minute.  Long enough for me to realize that it doesn’t stop.  

But I should.  
Because every day my kids are getting older.  My parents are aging and one day I will be old.  I might be alone, like Emma. And I want my eyes to sparkle because I have lived well.
I think my intuitive son sensed something about that moment.  He squeezed my hand and once we were settled in another room, climbed into my lap.  
“Mom, I don’t have to get married and move out one day. I can live with you forever, okay?”
“Forever?”  I asked.
“Well, maybe me and my wife can move in with you.”
I hugged him and whispered to myself, “Stay six all day, okay?”
Time stood still and I noticed.

King for the Day

Hail to the King!  Hail to the King!

In a few hours, my hubby will awake.

And be crowned.

He will relax on his thrown.

When he needs something, he will just give his bell a ring.

And his servants will heed the call.

His feet will be propped up on a cooler filled with his favorite drinks.

The remote is strapped to the chair, waiting to do his bidding.

Nascar will blare on the TV.

Favorite candy and snacks adorn the sacred area.

The streamers and balloons announce his Greatness.

A picture of his Royal servants will greet him.  A Nascar grilling cookbook will quench his kingly boredom.

Coupons from his prince and princess are at his disposal.  (One free back scratch and a Texas Tickle Crunch Box are but a few).

When he gets into his Royal Chariot, he will be surprised at the loving grafitti.

Especially since he has an important business meeting early Monday morning. 

Happy Father’s Day, King Daddy and Hubby.

We love you!

I’ll add a picture of his Royal Greatness later today!  Hopefully of his surprised face!

Yeah, I think he’s gonna have a good day.  But would it be bad if I hid the bell?

DIYP #3- Classy, Easy Paint Technique

The easiest and cheapest way to transform a house is with paint.

We have lived in houses that needed a major miracle transformation.

And so, we’ve painted.

A lot. 

So much, that if I even hint at painting, my hubby moves out gets very busy at work. 

He’s not a fan of the paint can.

But he’s frugal and usually chips in once I’ve made up my mind to do it.

Amanda, a friend of mine over at The Eck Life, taught me this great paint technique. Her home is gorgeous and she’s an awesome do-it-yourselfer!   This technique is classy and fabulous for a small space that you want to dress up like a bathroom or dining area.

My favorite decorating color is deep red.  And there are two things I must have in every home I live in:  a red front door and a red room. 

And so, I used this technique in my powder room and I did it in red.

First, tape off the space-ceilings, baseboards and around outlets.  This is really the key too good painting.  I use the blue painter’s tape because it comes off easily.  

Second, paint the room in a flat paint.  It will look, well, flat.

And if you want my expert opinion (*snort*), you can’t go wrong with red, but not tomato red, go deep red or there will be many regrets.

Let that completely dry.

Now, this is the hard part for me because I do not excel at measurements.  I’m more of an eyeball-it-kinda-girl.  Since this drives my hubby crazy, he jumps at the chance to measure for me.  Jump might be an exaggeration. 

You’re going to tape off stripes.  And since we’re going for even stripes, you better get out your measuring tape.  Decide how wide you want your stripes.  I think the smaller the room, like my powder room, the stripes need to be small.  I made mine 3 inches.  But if you’re doing a larger room, you want the stripes to make a statement, so I would make them around 6 inches. 

We used a pencil and went around the small room, drawing lines to indicate stripes.

Tape off the stripe, a piece for both lines.

When you are done taping, you will take your high gloss paint of the same color and paint the inside of the stripes. (You only need enough of the high gloss paint for the stripes.  For a small room, a pint will usually do).

Once it dries, remove the tape and you will be seeing stripes!

 Give it a try!

You Guys are Amazing* Book Winner

Wow, I’ve been blown away and blessed out of my socks reading your comments today. And yes, I read every one at least twice!  Thank you for sharing your thoughts, encouraging words and marriage needs with me.  I am honored that our paths have crossed and I will be praying for those marriages that are struggling!

I wish I could send you all a copy, but the winner of the book (For Women Only) is Marni!  Congratulations.  Email me your address and I’ll get it out to you.  For those of you who have this book already or are planning on buying it, once you’ve read it, pass it along to a friend.  

Men’s Week- When My Marriage Fell Apart

This post is For Women Only.

Just like the book titled, For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn. (I’m giving it away, today!)
I read this book the week after Thanksgiving in November of 2005. 
I remember the date exactly because it was the week my marriage fell apart.
Yeah.  It surprised me too.
There had been a crack in the wall of my marriage. I didn’t see it or want to see it and then one day, after 11 years, the whole thing crumbled.
It was horrible.  It was the first time that love didn’t seem to be enough.  
We had issues and problems and pain.  There were tears and fights and disappointments.
(Because Google is forever, I won’t go into details, but just for the record, this was very serious, but did not involve a third party).
Our marriage hung precariously over the edge of a cliff and we had one choice to make:  Give it a nudge or hang on for dear life.
But we dug in our heels, went to counseling for months and decided to rebuild the walls of our marriage.  One stone at a time.
During those months, I lost weight and my appetite.  I mourned the loss of something I never had:  the perfect marriage.
We talked, cried, prayed.  And we forgave.
We also read.  A lot.  One of the most helpful books for me was For Women Only:  What you need to know about the inner lives of men.  
I entered my marriage as a naive young girl.  And I didn’t know very much about men. I think this book impacted me so much because it explained how men think.  Even after more than a decade married to a good man, I didn’t truly understand the way God had created him. 
The book is filled with facts, statistics, national surveys, and interviews with men.  The entire thing was an eye-opening revelation for me.  
I don’t usually endorse books, but this one is amazing for women (and not just naive ones with endangered marriages)  I would recommend every woman read it!
But the most important part of our rebuilding, was prayer and divine help from God.  He walked with us through the valleys.   

But we had to invite Him.
I know that you may have ascertained an opinion of my marriage before reading this post.  And I don’t blame you.  Some readers have even commented about our ‘perfect marriage’ or ‘how much we love each other.’  And while it’s not perfect or even close, it is good.  
But, mainly because for awhile, it was very bad.
And I love him more deeply and we share more intimacy because of the bad.
So if today finds you in a crumbling marriage, please be encouraged. It can be rebuilt, even if your surrounded by broken dreams.
If your marriage is strong and secure, be thankful and remember to seal the cracks as they occur.
Many people don’t know that we nearly lost it all.  My hubby and I feel challenged to share our testimony as opportunities are presented.  It helps fortify the walls, ya know?
As you might imagine, just typing this post has made me feel vulnerable.  So, virtual ((hugs)) are accepted and appreciated.
And give your marriage a big boost by buying your hubby, For Men Only:  A Straightforward Guide to the Lives of Woman.
He may be surprised to learn more about you.
Leave a comment by 10 pm (CST) tonight and you’ll be entered to win a free copy of For Women Only!
Food for the Soul:
John 16:33
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You-Everything My Hubby Needed to Know about Becoming a Father, He Learned in the 4th Grade

*Updated*  We have a Golf Gift Set Winner!  Congrats to Lisa of  Stop and Smell the Chocolates.  Email me your address.  Thanks for playing along everyone!

Welcome to this week’s Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You Carnival!  I’m glad  you’re here.  Newbies, please read these guidelines if you want to link up.  

This week has been Men’s Week on the ol’ blog in celebration of Father’s Day. We’ve had some interesting discussions about our guys and men, in general.  Today, I wanted to share about my hubby as a Dad.
He would never toot his own horn, so I will.  He is an excellent father.  He loves his kids, spends time with them individually and teases them constantly.  He also prays with them every night and recently helped them memorize dozens of Bible verses.  They are now going through the Chronicles of Narnia series.  
One of our children is strong willed and we’ve struggled with methods of discipline.  My hubby asked me to order some books on audio, so he could listen while commuting to work.  He’s in this with me and although we have our fair share of disagreements, we are partners in parenting.  And when he makes mistakes, he lets his kids know.
Oh, and he randomly wears diapers on his head.
Because it’s fun.
When I asked him what prepared him for Fatherhood, he answered, “the 4th grade.”
My hubby has some great childhood stories.  Last week was a doozy.  This is his 4th grade story (which also took place in the school bathroom):
My hubby joined several of his friends for a class bathroom break.
They were gone for a long time.
The teacher started looking for the missing boys.  She followed the noise coming from the bathroom. “A A Aaaahhhhwwwoooooooo”
My hubby and his buddies spent an hour after school that day.  Because they had an extra assignment.
They had to write on the chalkboard:
“I will not howl like a wolf in the bathroom.”

100 times.
Apparently, all that howling and writing made an impact because this what he learned in the 4th grade:
  1. Howling is fun.  Dad’s need to be fun.  So, don’t take yourself too seriously.
  2. Wolves travel in packs –Dads needs to spend time with their kids.
  3. There’s always an Alpha male-It’s not all about fun, a Dad has to be a parent too.
  4. Dad’s do their best work in bathrooms.  No explanation needed.
I have to just add that my hubby actually offered to reenact a wolf’s howl, so you could get the full picture.  Yes, he did.  I’m telling you, he is a keeper.
And in celebration of men (who we cannot live with or without, most days), today’s giveaway is for the Golf lover and the Golf hater.  Yep, that should cover everybody.  
My hubby does not like golf. Unless there are two tiny words in front of it:  Putt-putt.  But we laughed at this Golf gift set because it’s practical jokes to play on the golfers in your life.  (It even comes with an exploding golf ball!)  So, leave a comment and I’ll announce the winner tomorrow!
And congrats to Jane at What About Mom? for winning the cool grill utility belt!  (Email me address, m’kay?)